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Wofford students move into their new neighborhood

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Apartment-style housing ready for occupancy 

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Forty Wofford College upperclassmen will move into their own neighborhood on Thursday, Sept. 21, as 10 apartments in the college’s new housing complex will open.

The students have been eagerly awaiting the move-in, having elected to be housed at a local hotel for the first few weeks of classes while the apartments, located on Evins Street, were completed.  Another 40 are expected to move into their apartments by mid-October.

The apartment-style housing is the first of its kind for the Wofford campus.  The complex is designed with pedestrian friendly sidewalks, quaint lampposts and green spaces, all overlooked by comfortable swings on front porches.

Wofford trustee Mike Brown (Class of 1976) accelerated the development of the new concept with a $1.5 million commitment to the Campaign for Wofford.

Senior Vice President David Wood notes that Wofford’s commitment to modest growth over several years, with enrollment targeted at between 1,400 and 1,500, opens the door to opportunities to provide more transitional housing for upperclassmen.  “After benchmarking other healthy campuses and surveying our juniors and seniors, we knew that today’s students want more opportunities for independent living than can be provided in a traditional residence hall, and they have been thrilled with the prospect of apartment-style housing at Wofford.

“Rows of identical buildings with matching parking lots and minimal landscaping would not be good enough for Wofford,” Wood continues.  “Our campus is a national arboretum and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. We wanted the apartments to complement the wonderful physical setting we have here.”

The fresh impression created by the new housing area begins as soon as the visitor begins walking northwest from Main Building and the historic district.  Evins Street, once part of a beltway around the campus, has become an entry point for the campus with construction being completed on making it a landscaped two-lane road.

South of Evins Street are the college’s two newest traditional student housing facilities, Wightman Hall and Lesesne Hall.  Near them is a beautiful new outdoor pavilion designed for activities ranging from informal cookouts to parties and concerts.

The 80 units of the apartment-style housing development feature a Charleston architectural theme.  Exterior attitudes of the neighborhood include front porches with swings and rockers overlooking grassy front yards, lampposts and other carefully designing lighting, and pedestrian-friendly streets where parking is readily available but unobtrusive.

The floor plans for the housing units vary, but the basic apartment includes include four private bedrooms, two large bathrooms, a kitchen, dinette, living room, and a front porch.  Some of the eight buildings include just one apartment unit for four students, but others house eight, 12 or 16 residents.

“Students tell us they are thrilled about these plans,” Wood says.  “Without having to give up the wonderful experience of living and learning as part of the Wofford residential community, they will experience an independent lifestyle appropriate for young adults, including cooking and eating for themselves.”